Linkage

Israeli architect Michael Burt on spacefilling networks and spatial tesselations (G+). There’s more on Burt’s own site but it’s not easy to navigate or link.

Year 8 dropout becomes face of a national schools campaign. After being pushed away from mathematics by bad advice as a teenager, Charles Gray came back, earned an honors degree in her 30s, is now working towards a doctorate, and has become the ambassador for an Australian campaign to raise awareness of STEM among 9 and 10yearold girls.

Euclid and Joyce. Why James Joyce made Finnegan’s Wake \(2\pi\) pages long, and placed Euclid’s Proposition I at page \(\pi\). See also the same proposition on the cover of Brian Hayes’ new collection of essays, “Foolproof, and Other Mathematical Meditations”.

If all sets of reals are measurable then the reals can be partitioned into more subsets than elements (G+, more G+ comments). Stan Wagon sees this as evidence that we should accept the axiom of choice as true. See his preprint with Alan Taylor, “A Paradox Arising from the Elimination of a Paradox”, for details.

Parisbased architect Biruta Kresling on the Kresling pattern (G+). A video clip from The Origami Revolution showing spontaneous paperfolding pattern generation by twisting cylinders until they buckle.

Some new toys (G+). I celebrated giving the publisher the forbidden configuration book by getting a fancier fountain pen, the TWSBI Mini AL, some nice ink, and a cigar case to reduce leakage when I fly with my pens.

An unexpected convergence of the Euler characteristic with sport, traffic engineering, and politics (G+, via). Matt Parker wants the UK to stop depicting mathematically impossible shapes in the traffic signs directing motorists to football stadiums. In the G+ comments, Ian Agol points out that it might not be impossible: maybe it’s just a hyperbolic horoball.

Alice’s Adventures in Numberland (G+). Anecdotes by my UCI mathematics colleague Alice Silverberg about poor treatment of women in mathematics.

Frances Wood (G+), shortlived but wellaccomplished statistician of the early 20th century.

Quanta on gerrymandering. With a nice clear explanation of the efficiency ratio.

Simulation of Rule 110 in B35/S236. Peter Naszvadi shows that a cellular automaton rule I investigated earlier is capable of universal computation, possibly the first Lifelike rule other than Life and its close relatives for which this is known. But the proof is still somewhat unsatisfactory because it relies on Turing completeness for rule 110 which in turn involves patterns with infinitely many live cells.

Binary before Leibniz (G+). Herbert Bruderer points to the earlier work of Thomas Harriot and Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, and to earlier references by 20thcentury historians of mathematics pointing out this earlier work. So why does Leibniz still get all the credit?